Resist the urge. Little habits -- touching eyes, putting finger to nose, biting nails -- give the flu virus a welcome mat into your system. A day or two later, when the first signs of flu hit you, you'll wonder -- how did I get the flu? When avoiding the flu, you've got to resist those habits.
"These are bad habits for many people," says Robert Schwartz, MD, chairman of family medicine at the University of Miami School of Medicine. "But they are the main way a virus gets into your system, via the...
But if you know what the symptoms are and how to take precautions, you can avoid these problems and stay healthy.
What Is the Flu?
It's a very contagious disease caused by the influenza virus. People tend to catch it most often in the fall and winter. It comes on fast and strong, spreading through your upper respiratory tract and sometimes invading your lungs.
It can happen when the flu virus enters your lung or when you get a bacterial infection during the course of the illness. Pneumonia can make you quite ill and may send you to the hospital.
It can cause chills, fever, chest pains, and sweating. You might have a cough with green or bloody mucus. You could notice a faster pulse, and your lips or nails might have a bluish tint because of a lack of oxygen. Other symptoms include shortness of breath and sharp pains in your chest when you take a deep breath. Seniors may only notice a pain in the belly.